Hard drive question

Find topics on computers, studios and music-related hardware.

Hard drive question

Postby sonofnothing » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:15 am

I'm looking to get an SSD just for my working project drive. I have a 120GB SSD boot disk, which the Cubase program itself is installed, and runs. What size SSD should i consider?

My biggest Project folder is 112 GB (way too much audio, I know. It should be 3 separate projects...)
If I'm working on a full length for a band, and I want quick access to any song at any point in time, I want to be working on the flash storage. Do i need a huge 'x' TB flash(so ~500 gigs of .wavs can be stored) OR, can I put the project file only on the SSD (using a smaller cheaper drive) and store the big audio files on HDD, and expect the same work speed?

I'm new to the capability for 5 hard drives, really, so forgive me for sounding ignorant. Searches for "SSD" didn't net much on here.
Cubase Artist 7.5
Mackie Onyx 1640i
2008 Harpertown MacPro 2.8 Quad Core x2, 24GB RAM, AMD 5770 1GB, OS X 10.9.1
User avatar
sonofnothing
New Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:09 am
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Hard drive question

Postby Wolfie2112 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:45 am

Honestly, I would stay with a regular 7200rpm drive(s) for projects and audio. From my experience, a SSD doesn't make a lot of difference unless you are streaming large sample libraries. I'd just slap in another 7200 into the Mac, unless you are totally willing to pay the premium for a large capacity SSD. If you had Thunderbolt 2 (which unfortunately you don't), a Thunderbolt-ready SSD is incredibly fast...but VERY expensive.
Wolfie2112
Junior Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:43 am
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: Hard drive question

Postby ffg » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:17 am

I confirm this. I configured my new MP (2012 6 core 3.3) with a 512 system SSD and another 512 SSD for media. I hoped this would speed up some aspects of Cubase, specially the slow save times as a project gets bigger, and after slicing drums. It didn't. The problem is Cubase, not the disk drive. It takes nearly 30 seconds to save a project with sliced and crossfaded drums, whether I use the SSD or a SATA internal HD, even though the actual project file is only a few MB.

I also run Final Cut Pro 10.1, again having the media on SSD makes very little or no difference.

The faster graphics card (5770) in the new mac speeds things up compared to my older 2008 8 core MP 3,1.
best

David

I'm going to to let the situation mature...

Nuendo 5.5
Cubase 7.5
MacPro 3.3 6-core OSX.9.x
MacPro 2.8 8-core OSX.8.x
Macbook Pro
RME Fireface 800
User avatar
ffg
Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:46 pm
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Hard drive question

Postby sonofnothing » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:49 pm

ffg wrote:The faster graphics card (5770) in the new mac speeds things up compared to my older 2008 8 core MP 3,1.


This is my MP, and I purchased it with an AMD 5770 1GB already in it. I still get choppy graphics using cubase.. Maybe it needs to be dusted off real good. the general guts of my MP were a hazy grey from the last year of ownership.

I guess I can't really complaoin about the startup time of Cubase, since that is hosted on the SSD, and it takes maybe 2 minutes to load a project file (outright massive project file, at that) (..only takes me 5-10 seconds to save typically)


Should i step up to a higher spindle rating then? faster than 7200 rpm. I may try that. 1TB drive(10/15k) for working projects, and then 2 2TB drives for all of my general data in a RAID 1. Thanks for the replies
Cubase Artist 7.5
Mackie Onyx 1640i
2008 Harpertown MacPro 2.8 Quad Core x2, 24GB RAM, AMD 5770 1GB, OS X 10.9.1
User avatar
sonofnothing
New Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:09 am
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Hard drive question

Postby gmmccurdy » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:27 pm

Great info. I was curious about this myself.

I noticed someone said it was decent for loading samples. That was my main reason for considering SSD so that my Trillian and Omnisphere would load up faster. Has anyone confirmed that this helps speed up VST Instrument/Sample loads? Also, if I purchased an external SSD would there be a bottleneck at the Firewire or USB3 connect?
Mark
================================
Macbook Pro - OSX 10.9.2 - 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
16GB 1600 MHz DDR3
500 Gig SSD Hard Drive
Presonus Firestudio Project I/O
Cubase 7.5
================================
gmmccurdy
Junior Member
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:37 pm
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Hard drive question

Postby Rhino » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:12 pm

In a nutshell :
- only use internal drives, except for data grave and (obviously) backup
- every external drive eats considerable amounts of CPU when used, it's not about the speed, which is almost identical nowadays with USB3.
- fast small SSD for OS & software, this has to be a model that supports frequent writing
- always have a current OS image (and one of a clean OS installation) on an external drive
- fast large SSD for samples and program content (e.g. vstsound), here you can go with a cheaper drive since it will only occasionally be written to, when you install a new library - save yourself potential trouble and mirror it to an external drive, just in case - reinstalling 500GB from DVD in case of emergency is not funny.
SSD makes a huge difference here !
- HQ 7200 HD for projects, server model preferred (WDs are fantastic), if you want the absolute best, reserve a small partition at the beginning of the drive as work area, maybe 200GB, where you temporarily copy the project you're currently working on, and clean up afterwards so the work partition is empty again. This prevents fragmentation very well, plus you still have yesterday's version in case something goes wrong, crashes, pilot error etc.
The big rest of the drive is for project storage, again, a regular external backup is highly recommended.
Ime SSDs don't offer much better performance here, and are far too expensive for the job.
ymmv,
Rhino
When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.
(George R.R. Martin)
Rhino
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:20 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 59 times

Re: Hard drive question

Postby sonofnothing » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:30 am

Thanks! Great response and info.
Cubase Artist 7.5
Mackie Onyx 1640i
2008 Harpertown MacPro 2.8 Quad Core x2, 24GB RAM, AMD 5770 1GB, OS X 10.9.1
User avatar
sonofnothing
New Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:09 am
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Hard drive question

Postby Patanjali » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:02 pm

Unless using a lot of tracks or higher samples rates, a 7200 HDD will do just fine.

You only need to have current projects on the 'project' drive, but you will want a rugged backup and archiving system (that is, process, software and hardware) to ensure you don't lose completed ones in the cracks!

If using a large HDD for projects, use a sufficiently sized (that is, not too much larger than likely to be needed at most) partition as the first on the disk. This 'short stroking' will ensure that head travel is minimised.

Conversely, do NOT put ANYTHING in other partitions on the same drive that you will need during project use, otherwise you are FORCING excess head travel. Every ms of head travel means your drive cannot actually be transferring data.

You can use the other partitions on the same or other HDDs for backup copies of your current and old projects. The time taken for the extra head travel is not critical for these operations.

Format all media partitions with 64KB sectors. Even on HDDs, I found that copying several GBs of mixed sized files between drives with 64kB sectors to be up 30-50% faster than with the default 4kB sectors (for Windows). The downside with larger sectors is that if a file does not fill a sector, the remainder is wasted. Since multimedia files tend to be very much larger than 64kB, and only the last sector is unfilled, partitions/drives for those files only have 0.5% dead space, compared to 8% for an OS drive.
Patanjali
Half of the folk music duo, DevaKnighT. Music available from CD Baby (MP3/FLAC) and the usual culprits. All recorded and processed on Cubase 7.x at 192k.
Comp: i7-4930K : Asus P9X79-E WS : 32GB : GV-N750OC-2GI : SSDx4+2 : UAD-2Q : Dell S2340Tx2 & Samsung 55" 4K.
HW: Nmn U87 Ai : JA251x2 : YRG : Korg padKontrol+uKEY2 : RME FF400+800 : M-Patch-2 : Tannoy Reveal Active+TS-12.
SW: Win 8.1 Pro 64 : Cubase 7.5.30 64 : iC Pro : RX4Adv : Ozone5Adv : Goliath/SO PP/Pianos/Gypsy : Sup.Drum 2.0 : AT7.
User avatar
Patanjali
Member
 
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:37 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 63 times

Re: Hard drive question

Postby sonofnothing » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:00 pm

Is ~40 tracks and 64fx sends enough to warrant an SSD?

I'm going to use a 2TB drive and a 200gb partition for working projects. Mirror to another 2TB and keep an external for back ups
Cubase Artist 7.5
Mackie Onyx 1640i
2008 Harpertown MacPro 2.8 Quad Core x2, 24GB RAM, AMD 5770 1GB, OS X 10.9.1
User avatar
sonofnothing
New Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:09 am
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Hard drive question

Postby Rhino » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:35 am

Nope, a good quality 7200 should be fine.
If you should really experience a bottleneck, you could always add a 200GB SSD as your working partition and use the full 7200 for storage, but I don't think you'll need to.
Re backup, not sure if there's a misunderstanding.
A single, well maintained external backup should do you just fine, no additional internal mirror of the project drive necessary.
Keeping 3 locations correctly in sync drastically increases the danger of pilot errors.
I suggest going the semi-automatic route via Beyond Compare rather than a fully automated strategy, which might overwrite good backups with faulty newer versions unless you're extremely careful.
ymmv,
Rhino
When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.
(George R.R. Martin)
Rhino
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:20 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 59 times

Re: Hard drive question

Postby Rhino » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:45 am

Btw, Patanjali's suggestions are spot on, thanks for adding those details !
cheers,
Rhino
When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.
(George R.R. Martin)
Rhino
Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:20 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 59 times

Re: Hard drive question

Postby curteye » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:57 am

Aloha guys and great thread!

Tanx for all kool the info.

In the DAW world it always seems the times are 'a changing'.
Nice to know some truths remain.
(Love this board).
{'-'}
If yer gear ain't breakin down, you aint workin' much.

iMac i7 2.8Gz 16GB 10.9...../C5.5/6.5/7.5
Mbook 2.4Gz 4GB 10.7.5.../C5.5/6.5/7.5

Location:
On the side of a volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
User avatar
curteye
Grand Senior Member
 
Posts: 5150
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:03 am
Has thanked: 47 times
Been thanked: 196 times

Re: Hard drive question

Postby Jalcide » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:57 pm

To solve the whole, removable / mobility vs performance issue, combined with the issue of backups and mirrors, this is what I'm doing now and it's really sweet:

I use an SSD for my audio projects in a removable tray. So, it's an "internal drive" with full 6gb bandwidth, but in a format that pops out. The cage for the tray fits in a standard 5.25" bay (i.e., where a DVD goes) and supports up to six trays! So, many libraries, or a RAID 0 for speed could be easily configured.

Here's the product: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817994147

Because it's removable, I can swap between machines (as long as they also have that 6 tray bay accessory).

It can even be used mobile with a cable that converts SATA III to USB3 and also powers it from another USB (the adapter uses two USB ports). Just pop it out and take it on the go. Best of both worlds.

Also, to solve the issue of backups / mirrors and project sharing / collaboration, a new app called BitTorrent Sync (for PC, Mac and Linux) is really solving all those problems well. It's like DropBox, only zero cloud. So, for those who don't want their studio on the internet, it's a brilliant solution.

Sidenote: Though the BitTorrent brand may seem "questionable," this is their pro-level product. As an IT professional myself, I would not use something that would be even slightly on the malware end of the spectrum. So, don't be put off by the "bittorrent" connotation. This thing is a lean, clean, enterprise-grade app that is easily configured to not so much as ping outside of the LAN -- fully self-contained. It can also be configured to sync a folder to another computer over the internet, but that is an optional feature and can be fully disabled. Anyway, they're clearly going after DropBox, Crashplan, etc. and working on their brand perception with this new app being an obvious key strategy to that end.

So, it's like DropBox only with no need for an internet connection, it all works cloud-less over a LAN. Since many studios need this requirement, I though I'd share this great new app (and it's free).

The one downside is that it's slightly CPU expensive. So those running a project at 95% utilization, might need to disable it while they're recording (a simple right-click in the tooltray [for PC] / menubar [for MAC]). Once you're done, just launch it again and let it run overnight, over lunch, etc. (just put it in your taskbar/launchbar for a one-click launch). Easy.

These two little tips are combining, in a synergistic way, to give me great options, mobility, performance and peace of mind. Just thought I'd share, as they're both slightly obscure, non-obvious and relatively new products. Very DAW-friendly solutions.
http://soundcloud.com/jalcide

Rack-mounted DAW1 (Main): Cubase 7.5.30 64-bit, Win 7 64-bit, i7-4770K @ 4.0GHz OC, Stock Cooling, ASUS Maximus VI Gene Z87 mATX Motherboard, 16 Gigs DDR3, EVGA GTX 760, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 on a Vantect FireWire 400 PCIe card (UGT-FW200), Two 30" ACDs

Rack-mounted DAW2 (Real-time Mastering Chain connected to DAW1 via ADAT Optical): Reaper 64-bit, Win 7 64-bit, i5-4670K @ 4.0GHz, 16 Gigs DDR3, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, One 20" ACD
User avatar
Jalcide
Member
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:33 pm
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 38 times


Return to Computer / Studio Hardware & Setup

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest